The official release of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update is not expected until the software giant's April Build conference, but a version of the updated operating system leaked online this week.

As noted by ZDNet, the Windows 8.1 update was released to manufacturing this week, and was not supposed to be accessible to the general public. But with a few simple tweaks, anyone was able to grab it. Microsoft has since locked it down, but tech-savvy users can find it online.

Belgian blogger Bavo Luysterborg, for example, has posted some links, though he warned that inexperienced users might end up bricking their current Windows 8.1 installations.

"We look forward to sharing details about the update soon," a Microsoft spokesman told PCMag.

There have been a few Windows 8.1 update leaks in recent months. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore said the update will help non-touch users navigate Modern UI apps. The new update will stick power and search buttons up in the Windows taskbar, where they're easy to find. Right-clicking on tiles will pull up a contextual menu, which mouse users expect. Modern apps will have a windowshade with a close button. And you'll be able to flip between Modern and desktop apps using the traditional taskbar, even if you aren't running any desktop apps.

PC Magazine